The Eternal Debate

The Eternal Debate

Though the title may mislead you, this is not a post about the beginning of the universe or if it’s really okay to wear white shoes after Labor Day. This is about whether or not it is okay to take notes in an interview. Though not as controversial as other ongoing debates, this is a major area of concern for many first time interviewers. They think that if they do not take notes, they aren’t taking the conversation seriously. However, if they do take notes, they may not be as attentive to the conversation, meaning they appear as if they’re not taking the conversation seriously. What is there to do? What is the answer?

Like with most difficult questions, there is no correct universal answer. Some people are expert multitaskers and can focus on note taking and another person at the same time. Bless those people. However, for those that do better when their attention is only centered on one thing, note taking during an interview is probably not for you.

The moral of the story is to know yourself and the conditions in which you perform at your best. An interviewer is going to be more concerned on how you answer the questions and interact with them, not if you can read back an entire transcription of the conversation. But if you feel more comfortable writing down the major points, bring a notepad with you, just remember not to doodle!

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